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Defense Minister Shoigu Details NATO’s Growing Deployment on Russia’s Borders

Dec. 22, 2021 (EIRNS)—Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in a lengthy report delivered to the expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry Board yesterday, reviewed the dangerous escalation of NATO and American threats to Russia’s national security, and detailed Russia’s advances in military equipment and other preparations to defend the country’s sovereignty. He caused a particular diplomatic earthquake in Washington and the capitals of Europe by revealing that American mercenaries were already deployed in the Donbas region of Ukraine, preparing provocations, including with chemical agents.

“The presence of more than 120 employees of American PMCs [private military companies] in Avdeevka and Priazovskoe settlements in the Donetsk region has been reliably established. They equip firing positions in residential buildings and at socially significant facilities, prepare Ukrainian special operations forces and radical armed groups for active hostilities,”

he said. “To commit provocations, tanks with unidentified chemical components were delivered to Avdeevka and Krasny Liman cities.”

The Pentagon flatly rejected Shoigu’s claim, as did NATO officials.

But the broader military-strategic picture that Shoigu painted was even more chilling.

“The United States is intensifying its military presence at Russian borders. In the countries of Eastern Europe, American units with a total strength of about 8,000 troops are deployed on a rotational basis. In the grouping of U.S. forces on the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany, the command of fire destruction in the theater has been recreated.... In Poland, an infrastructure is being created to accommodate the U.S. armored brigade, and the Aegis Ashore anti-missile system is nearing completion. In Romania, a similar missile defense facility is already on combat alert duty,”

Shoigu said.

“The United States and NATO are purposefully increasing the scale and intensity of military training activities near Russia. Increasingly, they involve strategic aviation, carrying out simulated launches of nuclear missiles at our facilities. The number of their flights near the Russian borders has more than doubled,” Shoigu continued. “NATO pays special attention to the issues of the transfer of troops to the eastern flank of the alliance, including from the continental part of the United States. The exercises are practicing various options for using coalition groups against Russia with the use of non-aligned states—Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.”

Under the heading of increasing combat capabilities, Shoigu then reported on Russia’s increased combat capabilities. Strategic Missile Forces completed the rearmament of the first missile regiment of the Avangard missile system with intercontinental ballistic missiles equipped with hypersonic gliding cruise units. In addition, two more missile regiments re-equipped with the Yars ICBM and four upgraded Tu-95MS bombers were delivered to the air force. He also noted that state tests of the Zircon sea-based hypersonic cruise missile are nearing completion and that deliveries will begin next year.

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